Workers Compensation Benefits in California: Union Contracts and MOUs

In California, besides the Labor Code which provides Injured Workers rights and benefits, Labor Contracts can also provide benefits and rights. Labor Contracts can be Union Contracts or Memorandums of Understanding (MOU). Each Contract or MOU can provide Industrially Injured Workers unique benefits and rights that exceed the benefits extended by the Labor Code.

Examples of additional benefits and rights are as follows:

Salary Continuation

Some salary in lieu of total temporary for 26 calendar weeks.  Other contracts pay contracts pay up to one year of salary.  This can be an amazing benefit in that it may allow for the continuation of health care benefits as well as the accrual of pension benefits. Other contracts can provide extended benefits in the event of an unprovoked attack.


Some contracts provide that an industrial injury does not cause a break in service when determining seniority.  This means that when the Injured Worker returns to work, the Injured Worker’s seniority rights remain intact. This protects the Injured Worker with respect to their right to bid for schedules, the right to bid for vacation time, and rights concerning lay-offs.

Enhanced Industrial Disability Leave (EIDL)

Also, the terms of Enhanced Industrial Disability Leave can also be provided for with Union Contracts and/or Memorandums of Understanding.

If you have an Industrial Injury, you should ask the following questions:

  • Am I a Union Member or part of an Employee Association?
  • If so, is there a Memorandum of Understanding or Union Contract in effect?
  • If so, get a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding or Union Contract. Generally, these can be obtained from your Union or Employee Association.  Also, these items may sometimes be found online.
  • Consult your Union or Employee Association as to whether there are any provisions within the Contract or Memorandum of Understanding that provide for special benefits or rights for Industrially Injured Workers. Alternatively, consult an attorney to review the document.

With more than 23 years of expertise in defending workers’ rights, the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, A Professional Law Corporation, is here to assist. If you have any questions concerning your rights, please do not hesitate to contact our offices. Please contact us today concerning any workers’ compensation questions or issues.

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